Not enough flowers for Panagbenga?

Posted at 01/28/14 2:51 AM

BAGUIO -- Flower growers have expressed concern that there may not be enough flowers for the Panagbenga Festival and Valentine's Day this February.

The cold weather, they said, stunts the growth of flowers.

"Hindi namumulaklak kaagad, bubot, dahil sa lamig po," farmer Carlo Cayat said.

Because of the short supply, a bundle of roses now costs P300.

Temperature in Baguio has been recorded at 9.4 to 9.6 degrees Celsius, a condition which greatly affects the growth of flowers.

"It is only actually now that we are experiencing the unusual very cold temperature. Before wala naman yan talaga," said Araceli Ladilad, director of Benguet State University's Horticulture Department.

Ideal temperature for flowers is 20 degrees Celsius. Lower than that and the flowers will likely be damaged, farmers said.

The farmers said they need at least 30 days to harvest the roses, but now it would take them 50 days because of the cold temperature.

A temporary solution would be to spray the flowers with lukewarm water, farmers said.

Meanwhile, tourists are expected to flock the Panagbenga Festival amid the cold weather.

"Fully booked na kami. As early as November pa last year e nagbook na po ang mga kababayan natin," said Andrew Pinero, public information officer of the Baguio Country Club. -- Report from Mae Cornes, ABS-CBN News North Luzon